Elijah Craig Small Batch Bourbon 12 Year Old
Country: American Whiskey
Distillery: Heaven Hill
Bottler: Heaven Hill
Distillation Date: 1999
Style: Bourbon Whiskey
Bottling Date: Unknown
Alcohol: 47% by volume
Price: ~ $40.00 usd
Behind The Booze:
Although the name has somewhat disappeared into history, Elijah Craig was actually the name of a reverend who lived in Virgina in the Late 1700’s. For those who are into the history of whisky making this may be a refresher, but, his tragedy has forever changed the way whisky is made today. Short sweet and to the point, the story goes that at one time he owned a warehouse where he stored barrels when one day, the warehouse was consumed by a devastating fire – even though the barrels were charred he still used the casks, which imparted a lovely visual and flavor character never before experienced. This 12 year old batch specifically took his name, Elijah Craig – and another fantastic spirit was added to the Heaven Hill line.
With a dark honey or light caramel type appearance, this spirit carries a thick, almost syrupy like feel. Aside from lightly clinging to the glass, this liquid does an excellent job at coating your taste buds. When taking my nose to the top of the glass, the scent is full, thick and full of complexity. I wish I could say more, but aside from repeating ‘It looks and smells amazing’ over and over – lets move onto the flavor notes!
The Elijah Craig Small Batch Bourbon 12 year old carries with it some of the sweetest yet toasty and crisp flavors I’ve had the pleasure to enjoy. Light notes of toasty oak, toffee and a honey like ‘sweetness’ is rounded out by a spicy grouping of fruits, resin with a creamy milk feel and vanilla after taste. I know – this sounds off but the way Heaven Hill combined these flavors, the ‘eww’ factor you may have just mentally experienced was actually a sensation I wish more whisky would have. It still has the alcohol bite, but this cream, sweet and spice balance – although hard to describe, really takes the pain out of trying a new spirit and is something I will keep looking for in future whisky tastings.
Is this a bourbon I would recommend to everyone? Without a doubt! The price is reasonable, the ABV is well within the proper range – the flavor combination is intriguing and well balanced yet the Elijah Craig Small Batch Bourbon 12 year old might be a little ‘too sweet and creamy’ for some of the veteran drinkers in the group. I personally am not a huge candy person, maybe a couple of bites of a candy bar a month and thats more than sufficient. I enjoyed some of this bourbon with a steak dinner and must admit it was similar to drinking a candy coated whisky but when I had another session with a nice cigar, the near overbearing sweetness was nicely ‘masked’ by the earth and bitter flavors from the cigar. That being said, I would still recommend this to someone who is wanting to get into whisky, someone who may not prefer that thick, deep, bitter type whisky with a harsh bite or if you are entertaining and not sure what the ‘masses’ would like. If you have had a chance to drink some of the Elijah Craig Small Batch Bourbon 12 year old don’t hesitate and please let me know your thoughts!
Step back, relax, and enjoy.